Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Friday, December 11, 2015

Why do we intuitively believe we have free will?

By Tom Stafford
Originally published 7 August 2015

It is perhaps the most famous experiment in neuroscience. In 1983, Benjamin Libet sparked controversy with his demonstration that our sense of free will may be an illusion, a controversy that has only increased ever since.

Libet’s experiment has three vital components: a choice, a measure of brain activity and a clock.
The choice is to move either your left or right arm. In the original version of the experiment this is by flicking your wrist; in some versions of the experiment it is to raise your left or right finger. Libet’s participants were instructed to “let the urge [to move] appear on its own at any time without any pre-planning or concentration on when to act”. The precise time at which you move is recorded from the muscles of your arm.

The article is here.
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